A POLICE office that provides a “one-stop shop” for the community has been officially opened.
Miers Avenue Police Office will serve the north of Hartlepool with an inspector, three sergeants and a host of police officers based at the centre to target crime and community nuisances.
A number of partner organisations, including Hartlepool Borough Council and Housing Hartlepool, are involved in the venture to help deal with matters such as anti-social behaviour and housing and welfare issues.
Police chiefs say some of the changes have been enforced by the cutbacks Cleveland Police and the council is facing, but that the situation has worked out “for the best” as it has seen a host of organisations put under one roof.
Town Mayor Stuart Drummond, who is also chairman of Cleveland Police Authority, cut the police tape at the building’s entrance to officially open the office.
He said: “This has been an aspiration of mine for a number of years since we opened one in York Road, which got accolades all around the country for the way the police and the local authority were working together.
“I wanted to replicate that in the north of the town. This gives the community here everything they need in one place.”
The West View police office and the office in Dyke House school have closed, with all officers now working out of Miers Avenue.
Superintendent Glenn Gudgeon, District Commander for Hartlepool, said: “This office is in the heart of the community and is a visible resource for people here.
“The West View premises was not one we would want to bring the community to, but this is of a high quality and is a really nice building.
“A bit of money and time has been spent on it and there are already ideas of using the garden here to get young offenders involved in planting vegetables.
“This is a very good investment during austere times.”
Inspector Lee Rukin will be managing a team of three sergeants and several officers at the office.
He said: “This gives people a place where they can access their neighbourhood officers and we are excited about the work we can do here.”